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Who's Who

Giles Walter - Vicar

Giles was brought to faith in Christ in 1972, in his first term at university. Before that he had been a sceptic: previous experience of 'church' had not done a lot for him. So having his life turned upside down was a big, and brilliant, surprise. He's married to Sarah, and became vicar of St John's in 1993. Their son Jonathan was born in 1994, and Susanna in 1996. Giles spent a year in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and remains fascinated by anything and everything Russian. He loves classical music, gets to the theatre whenever he can, and never ever misses the Wimbledon final.

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Dick Farr - Associate Vicar

Dick was born into a church attending family, and as a teenager came to understand Jesus’ death on the cross for the first time. He was selected for training for ministry whilst at university, where he was also part of the team that won the universities hockey championship three years in a row. Having been a vicar in Essex, Dick and his wife Suzanne moved to Tunbridge Wells in the summer of 2009; they have two children, Rebekah and Jonathan, and one grandson. Dick enjoys watching sport, supporting Spurs, cooking, walking, coffee and cider, and umpires for Tunbridge Wells Hockey Club. Beyond his work at St John’s he is also chair of the Church Society Trust patronage board, a member of the ReNew planning group, and will attend GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem.

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Carrie Sandom - Women's Worker

Carrie became a Christian when she was a teenager through the faithful witness of her grandparents and other Christian friends. Before training for ministry she taught maths at a secondary school in Cambridge but soon realised that she loved teaching the Bible as much as algebra. Since then she has worked with students and young professionals at churches in Cambridge, Essex and London. She joined the staff team at St John's in 2011 and now teaches the Bible to women of all ages and stages of life. Carrie also has a part time role as Director of Women’s Ministry at The Proclamation Trust. She enjoys reading whodunnits, supporting Chelsea FC and drinking a really good cup of coffee.

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Jono Chalklin - Youth Worker

Jono grew up in Tunbridge Wells and is grateful for his Christian upbringing. He is thankful for the youth leaders and friends who patiently taught him about Jesus and why his death matters. Jono joined the staff team in 2016, having previously been Youth Worker at St Alban’s Church, Frant. Jono is married to Gemma and has two boys. He loves sport, burgers, proper coffee, and explaining to young people that the Bible was written so that we may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him we may have eternal life.

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Craig Hudson - Music Director

Craig grew up in Poole, Dorset, and through the witness of many faithful Christians gradually came to understand the amazing forgiveness for sins on offer through Jesus Christ's death. He studied maths and music at St John's College, Cambridge, and previously worked on the staff team at All Souls Church, Langham Place. As well as his responsibilities with the music, Craig is involved in the children's work at St John's. Outside of St John's he is busy as a music teacher, pianist and choral director. He particularly enjoys cricket, Formula 1, and board games.

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Phil Jones - Administrator

Phil grew up in a Christian family and he is very grateful for parents who taught him about Jesus from an early age. However, it wasn’t until after university and a period of prolonged sickness that he really began to trust the Lord Jesus as his own personal Saviour. Phil is married to Kate and has two lovely daughters. He enjoys watching sci-fi and taking the dog for long walks in the Kent countryside.

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Linda Heathfield - Secretary

Linda served as a youth leader in the church where she grew up as a young Christian. She worked as an administrator in the NHS and then moved to Tunbridge Wells to work for a local mission agency; she met and married husband Tim and they have brought up two children in the family of the church. She loves reading, walking their dog, and discovering all things French.

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Ali Scoble - Pastoral Care Co-Ordinator

Having had the privilege of being brought up in a Christian home, Ali came to understand that Jesus’ death brought life and, thankful for his amazing love, committed to follow him aged 12. Married to Tim, Ali worked as an Osteopath before having two children, now teenagers. Before joining the St John’s team in September 2015, Ali was a support worker for the Alzheimer’s Society. In her free time she enjoys a coffee with friends, singing or going for a run (more a gentle jog!).

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Kirkley Boon - Assistant Women's Worker

Kirkley is currently on maternity leave, having given birth to her first child in November 2017.

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Adam Curtis - Cornhill Ministry Trainee

Adam first heard of Jesus from his parents; however, it was not until his late teens that he came to the realisation that he needed the life giving forgiveness that only Jesus offers. Since then he has studied theology at Cardiff University and helped Scottish students live and speak for Jesus on campus. He loves table tennis, book clubs and having meaningful conversations on pretty much any topic, but his greatest joy is discussing with people about the Saviour he knows and loves.

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Oli Butler - Ministry Trainee

Oli first came to understand the message of Jesus Christ as a teenager, thanks to the prayers and encouragement of his grandmother. His gap year took him to Latin America where he helped construct churches. Since studying Philosophy at the University of Sussex, he has worked for a church in Brighton and taught English in Madrid. His role at St John’s sees him teaching in the children’s work, helping at the Global Café, and reading the Bible with individuals. Oli likes to spend his free time playing basketball, cycling, reading philosophy and fiction, and meeting friends.

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Jonny Watson - Parish Assistant

Jonny grew up in a Christian family and came through all the church groups. Despite this, it was only as a teenager that Jonny realised Jesus Christ actually existed. Jonny helps groups with their practical needs, thankful to God that he can continue to learn from God's Word and help other people teach and learn as well.

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Sue Taylor - Receptionist

Sue, originally from Lancashire, is very grateful to her Granny for starting her on her journey of faith. Coming to work in Kent, getting married and then becoming a parent much strengthened and confirmed her belief. Having previously worked in the medical world, she now works as church receptionist Mondays (all day) and Tuesday mornings. She enjoys being outdoors – cycling and dog walking – and also loves crafts and sewing.

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Sue Sharland - Receptionist

Sue was brought up in a Christian family, but it wasn't till she attended a Christian camp as a 10 year old that she realised that Jesus was not just a historical figure, but he was alive and wanted a personal relationship with her, if only she wanted it too. Baptised and confirmed at St John’s, and a member of the church family for 45 years, Sue works as church receptionist Wednesday-Fridays.

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Trevor Clarkson - Home Groups

Trevor grew up in a Christian family in London. Although he believed in God, only in his teens did he ask for God's forgiveness and trust in Christ as his Saviour. He read engineering at King's College, London. After a few years in Christian radio he returned to King's for his PhD, and eventually became a Professor in the same department. He is married to Irene and now coordinates Home Groups at St John's. Having secured early retirement, he has enjoyed taking up the 'cello again.

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Ann Keenan - Children's Ministry

Ann was brought up going to church and at 16 her brother took her to a Christian event where she committed to live her life God’s way, not her own. Ann has been involved in the children’s ministry for nearly 6 years. Previously, she led the women’s ministry at St John’s, was the development director of a mission agency, and a city lawyer in London and Tokyo. Ann met her husband Bruce at church in Tokyo and they have 2 teenagers and a cute cat. She loves singing and all things Japanese.

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Sarah Walter - Pre-School Ministry

Ever since getting married in 1991, Sarah has looked on it as a privilege to support and serve alongside Giles in various ways; and to bring up their two children. Before that she worked for IFES and UCCF, Christian student organisations. Sarah was born in Sevenoaks, where from birth her parents taught her to know and love Jesus as Saviour and Friend; as a result she loves being involved in ministry with preschoolers at St John's. After teenage years in Norfolk, university brought exciting opportunities to study the Bible (and Classics!) and encourage friends to investigate Christ's claims for themselves. Sarah loves elephants (real and 'Jellycat'); family holidays in Pembrokeshire; tea-shops; 'a good murder' on TV; a prawn madras curry; and Cadbury's Dairy Milk!

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David Dryer - Men's Ministry

Christian parents helped David to come to faith in Jesus at an early age. A retired management consultant, he is married to Mary, and has two adult children and two grandchildren. He has worked voluntarily with Serving in Mission as a member of UK and International Boards, and in consulting work in Africa, South America and Asia. He has gained postgraduate qualifications in theology from Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and Kings College, London. He enjoys playing golf and reading history.

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Dave & Corinne Crisp - Internationals' Ministry

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James McLearon - Daddy and Me

James was brought up to go to church, but realised at the age of 10 that he could have a personal relationship with God. He is involved with Daddy and Me at St John's, aware of how much his faith has helped in his role as a father. He met and married his wife Laura at St John's and has three children. He works during the week as a chartered surveyor and enjoys walking, DIY, gardening and playing the ukukele.

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John Neville, Naomi Vallely & Ann Keenan - Safeguarding Team

Naomi is our Safeguarding Lead, Ann is her Deputy and John is our Safeguarding Training Officer. Together they advise on safeguarding matters relating to children, young people and vulnerable adults, in accordance with national safeguarding legislation and Diocesan guidance. They promote safer practices in church activities and seek to ensure that safer recruitment practice is followed in relation to all staff and volunteers. They also provide safeguarding training. They are the people to contact with any safeguarding concerns.

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